I grew up in Marshall, MN and did all the typical small town things. I vaguely remember showing the typing teacher how to copy/paste on a black & yellow computer display. At one point my science teacher figured a simpler way to keep me from using the school's dial-up internet was ask me to make him a class webpage. I haven't stopped programming since (and you can see one of my early websites on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine). Working at the fantastic NetPoint gave me a fantastic crash course in every computer-related aspect a young nerd could dream of.
I went the the University of Minnesota, and although I have a Computer Science degree the majority of my education came from the Minnesota Daily Newspaper. I learned how to manage projects, budgets, people and serve the customers. I also met some great friends and met my wife there. But I'm not biased. The Daily is incredibly awesome.
From there I worked for a while at a web agency, and learned my heart got too attached to individual companies that it wasn't the path for me. I went to the fantastic JobDig/LinkUp and learned a ton. It was my first introduction to cloud computing, HR technologies, working with offshore labor, and where I really became immersed in the Minnesota technology commuinty. The people at LinkUp were and are amazing, and I'm still a big fan of their work. I also still have a strong passion for the complexity of recruiting - from finding candidates to interviewing to onboarding.
About the time my oldest son was born, I had the opportunity to work with Doug Berg on some startup ideas he wanted to incubate. The one that really took off was TrackIf (now called MyAlerts). I learned a lot about the early-stage VC scene, found the power that comes from an API-centric designed, and met a lot of great people in many different capacities.
Then I spent a couple years Best Buy, and given how much of my childhood money was spent there it was probably inevitable. I wrote a blog post when I joined, and I had a great time. In both obvious & unexpected ways, it was both similar and different to the startups that comprise my background. The team at Best Buy still does great work, and I keep watching the Best Buy Developer Blog to see what's new in that realm.
Since May 2017, I've been the Senior Director of Customer Applications at Caribou Coffee & the Einstein Noah Restaurant Group. I have a great team and together we're responsible for all the websites, mobile applications, and everything else that the customers interact with digitally. With how much I love coffee (thanks Flet), it is a fantastic place to be. Great coffee + love of customers + Minnesota company = where Eric was meant to be.